Maybe bigger is better.
Just a few days ago I wrote an article entitled, "Should the iPhone 5 get a larger screen?" As part of the piece, I included a poll asking readers to cast a vote for their preference. Of the nearly 5,000 respondents, the results (as of the time of this writing) were as follows:
- 61 percent thought Apple should make the screen larger
- 30 percent thought the iPhone's screen was just right
- 2 percent would like to see it get smaller
- 8 percent didn't care
Compare that with a very similar poll we did back in July of last year and you'll notice a 12-percent increase in the number of people in favor of a larger iPhone screen. Around 4,500 people voted in the last poll.
Now, we don't pretend that our polls are scientific, but our sample is fairly random and readers can vote only once (yes, you can vote multiple times from different IP addresses, but you can't sit at home clicking the voting button over and over). While we haven't yet tried to measure the percentage of iPhone backers versus Android backers who comes to the site, we do know that both groups are pretty vocal.
But if we're making a snap judgment, we could argue that the proliferation of Android smartphones, which usually have larger screens than the iPhone, has influenced how people feel about the design of smartphones. More people now seem to like the idea of a roomier screen--or are at least are more accepting of it now. In the past, many people felt some of these phones were simply too bulky and sucked up too much battery life.
Of course, don't expect Apple to make any changes to the screen size of its next iPhone. It will most likely stick with what it's got. But in the future, as smartphones continue to slim down, Apple may have to reckon with the fact that going bigger seems to be becoming more of a selling point, and that one day, it just might be better.
Just don't tell that to Steve Jobs. When asked what consumer and market research Apple had done to guide the development of the iPad, Jobs famously said, "None. It isn't the consumers' job to know what they want."Related: A tale of four smartphone screens (Battle Royale 3)
See also: iPhone 5's 20 most-wanted features